Wednesday, 8 March 2017

WINTER WEDDING - WEDNESDAY WRITERS



Wednesday Writers
Writing Prompt for 3/8/17
·       March 2, 2017

This week’s challenge from Debb is slightly different:
1.      Think back to when you were 10 years old.  If that causes a problem, make something up.  
2.      Tell us in a narrative, story or poem what did your 10 year old self think about SNOW?
3.       If it helps you, use the bad grammar and less-than-perfect spelling that a 10 year old might have.
4.       Do not limit yourself on the word count, and write at least one sentence; the only thing we are NOT interested in would be a novel.  
Everyone is welcome to try the challenge.  Mail your piece to stantonsunshine@gmail.com by Monday noon, 3/6/18, then check back on Wednesday to read all the entries.  Questions?  Just write me – thanks!




WINTER WEDDING

We didn’t know if we would get there on time.  The snow had come down overnight covering the roads in a blanket of white.  Mum was getting agitated.  She shouted at my brother and myself while dad went out to start the car.  He sat there with the engine running, he said it was to warm up the car for us all but now, many decades later, I wonder if he just wanted to get out of the house.

We had a journey of about an hour before we arrived at my aunt’s house where we were all going to get changed.  This wedding had been planned forever it seemed.  My grandmother had been going all day and all night on her Singer Sewing machine trying to get my bridesmaid dress and my brother’s pageboy outfit ready before we left.

I was so excited. Outside looked so pretty, crisp and clean, flakes of snow falling gently on my hair.  I tried to lick the snowflakes to see what they tasted like.  My brother and I had a competition to see who could hold a snowflake the longest before it melted.  I don’t think either of us won but it didn’t stop us from bickering about it.

We arrived eventually, bags and baskets were carried in to Aunt Ivy’s flat about the shop.  She was still working in the shop, she wouldn’t close the shop until the very last minute.

All the adults seemed cross so I just sat quietly on the sofa until it was my turn to have my hair done.  My brother played with his cars.  Finally we were all dressed up and bundled in to the cars.   The sun came out and melted the snow from the ground as we drove through the lanes to the church. 

A winter wedding.  My first time as a bridesmaid.  I was quite nervous.  I didn’t want to trip up, the dress was longer than I was used to wearing.  The two pageboys were smart enough but I thought I was the bee’s knees in my long red velvet dress, a red peaked bonnet on my head and my heads kept warm in a muff. 

Then I saw the grown-up bridesmaids.  They were so elegant I wished I was their age.  Their hair was in a bouffant style.  Their muffs matched mine but they didn’t need a cord to keep it around their necks, they knew how to hold them.  We were given brooches which were pinned on the white faux fur collars of my dress and the other small bridesmaid’s dress, the two adult bridesmaids (the bride’s sister and the bride’s friend) wore their brooches on their dresses.  The two page boys wore red velvet bowties and braces and stood to attention for the photos shoot. 

My very favourite photograph is the one where my grandmother is sprinkling confetti over me – I felt so special that day.  

The church was picture perfect and the photos taken by the lych gate bring back memories of a wonderful day for a ten year old girl.  Perhaps the snow could have stayed for a while to make the photos more romantic but for ease of everyone and those who had to travel it was a bonus that all the snow had melted away and the sunshine came out to play.

Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse      


Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse
Photo Credit: S

Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse      


The three pictures below are of Hollington Church in the Woods taken from Google Images






Thursday, 2 March 2017

TWO YEARS TO WAIT - FFPP

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017 WEEK #10
Posted on March 1, 2017 by rogershipp

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Home Site.
https://flashfictionforthepracticalpractitioner.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2017-week-10/


Your Photo Prompt for Week #10 – 2017

https://pixabay.com/en/mastomys-mice-hom 

TWO YEARS TO WAIT

Charlie pressed his nose up against the window of the pet shop, they were so cute.  He wouldn’t be allowed even one of them at home let alone the family.  How did they all live together like that?  Their own situation at home was cramped enough, he was the eldest followed by, Harry and James and now his mum was going to have another baby.  Then there was dad, who was always at work and of course there was granny. 

Granny wasn’t really a granny.  For starters she didn’t look like a granny, she didn’t have any grey hair and she went running in the mornings, she drove a sports car that spewed up dust on the gravel path leading to the house and wore make-up and nail varnish.

His mum was always shaking her head but without granny’s money coming in they couldn’t pay the bills.  At 12 years old Charlie knew what was going on, he listened in at the top of the stairs to the adults chatting when he was supposed to be in bed.

In another two years he would go to work, perhaps as a paperboy, then maybe he could get his family of mice.

Word count: 200




The Six Easy Guidelines
§  A photo prompt topic is to be used as your ‘muse’. They will arrive promptly at midnight each Thursday morning.
§  Include the photo prompt and its credits with your story on your blog.
§  All stories are to be crafted and honed to under 200 words in length.
§  Each flash fiction piece should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. No serial stories. It is harder to stay abreast of a serial story. (Please keep content PG-13.)
§  Post your flash fiction response by clicking on THE BLUE FROG. Follow the given directions.
§  It is the desire of this blog to begin a new writing community. Plan a day to visit the writings of our challengers to enjoy our creations and to provide a little positive feedback.
Thank you for your participation. I look forward to reading each of your stories. Please remember to check back and follow the journeys of our fellow writers. Kind comments are always appreciated.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Wednesday Writers - A Proposal of Sorts






Writing Prompt for Wednesday Stories for March 1, 2017

Our lovely Debb from Inner Sunshine set us a photo prompt and five random words to craft in to a story of 500 words.

If you want to join in the take a look with the link below.


http://www.innersunshine.net/2017/02/16/writing-prompt-for-wednesday-stories-for-march-1-2017/


Judo caffeine  cave senator lump

A Proposal of Sorts

‘One lump or two?’ Michael smiled at her, his hands poised over her cup of coffee.

Megan could almost taste the caffeine, her mouth was salivating anticipating that first burst of the hot liquid upon her tongue, her taste buds exploding as she sipped the delicious nectar.

The café’s television was on low in the background.  She didn’t follow politics, especially American politics, she couldn’t follow the dialogue but was rather shocked when reporters aggressively pushed and shoved each other for the prime position to interview the senator.

Dragging her attention back to her companion, she wondered why she’d let herself be persuaded to spend time with this man she didn’t really know.  They’d exchanged pleasantries each time they dropped their kids off on Saturday morning at the judo club.  Her Sam was only seven but doing really well in the group.  It helped with his aggression and anger issues that were lurking in his mind since his dad had left a few months ago. 

Megan looked again at the man in front of her.  He was nice looking, she knew his daughter was well behaved but she didn’t know their situation.  She had assumed he was also unattached, whether separated or divorced she really didn’t know.  After all it was only coffee in the adjacent café from the school hall where their kids were.

The Cave, was a retro café, juke box playing, down a few steps into what was once a basement or a cellar.  The staff were all females, wearing beehive hairstyles and frilly aprons on their waists.
Michael’s phone lit up – his screen saver a rather distinctive sunset/sunrise, all pink and purple hues, it really was a rather stunning scene.

He apologised with a lift of his eyebrows as he walked away and took the call.   A few minutes later he returned with a smile on his face. 

‘That was my mother,’ he explained.  ‘All her tests have come back and she has the all-clear.’
  
Michael grabbed Megan's hand, squeezing it tight, his eyes glittering with emotion. 

‘That is fantastic,’ Megan responded and squeezed his hand back before disengaging from his grasp.

She looked at her watch, only another half an hour before the kids were finished with their session.  Could she sit here with this stranger and make small, polite talk about his mother?  She didn’t know the ailment.  She didn’t know the relationship.  Should she ask?  Perhaps that would be too intrusive.  She ought to wait for Michael to open up.  Then again, did she really want to know his problems?  Surely she had enough of her own to contend with.

To diffuse the situation somewhat Megan pointed to his phone.  ‘Where is that place?  Have you been there?’

‘Actually this is where I want to take my wife on honeymoon,’ came the response.

Megan’s recoiled in shock.  He had a wife!

‘No, no. You misunderstand.’  Michael gave her an apologetic grin, ‘I mean – maybe you will be my wife one day.’

Yikes!


Word count: 499

Monday, 27 February 2017

Mother and Son - FFAW


Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.
5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story's post.
6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.
7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). Please let me know if you need link-up instructions.
8. Please keep stories below R rating.
9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion, and life style choice when writing your stories.
10. Remember, half the fun is reading and commenting on each other's stories.




This week's photo prompt is provided by Dawn Miller for our photo prompt this week!

Mother and Son

Laura entered the control centre ready to start her shift.  Scanning the monitors quickly, her eye was drawn to one particular screen. 

As Joe handed over to her he pointed out the screen in the right hand corner.

‘She’s been there for a couple of hours,’ he said.  ‘She doesn’t move, just keeps looking up every now and again as though she’s expecting someone.’

‘That is Dot,’ explained Laura.  ‘She hasn’t been here for a while but she used to come every week for a couple of months.  I’ll give her son a call.’

Ben arrived quickly, Laura met him at the entrance and escorted him to his mother. 

‘Oh, there you are my dear. Shall we go home now?’ Dot smiled lovingly at her son.

Ben hid his tears as he prepared to take his mother back to the nursing home.

Laura patted his arm in sympathy as they left the waiting area.

Word count: 154

Friday, 24 February 2017

Cephalopod Coffeehouse: February 2017



Cephalopod Coffeehouse: February 2017


Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please sign on to the link list at the end of my post

http://armchairsquid.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/cephalopod-coffeehouse-february-2017


I’ve read many books by Philippa Gregory and in my opinion she is one of the best writers in historical fiction and she really is a 5* writer. 

I love her Tudor series and my 5* review for 



The Boleyn Inheritance
(The Tudor Court Series Book 3)

By

Philippa Gregory

531 pages

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION FROM Amazon

From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory, comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII and his final queens.
The king will decide who will live and who will die; he has the power of God now.
1539. Henry VIII must take his fourth wife and the dangerous prize is won by Anne of Cleves. A German princess by birth, Anne is to be Henry’s pawn in the Protestant alliance against Rome, but the marriage falters from the start. Henry finds nothing to admire in his new queen, setting himself against his advisors and nobles to pay court to young Katherine Howard.
The new queen begins to sense a trap closing around her. And Jane Boleyn, summoned to the inner circle once more by her uncle the Duke of Norfolk, finds a fractious court haunted by the Boleyn legacy of death and deceit.
Nothing is certain in a kingdom ruled by an increasingly tyrannical king.

MY REVIEW

Philippa Gregory is one of my all time favourite writers.  Her books are always well written.  You feel as though you are part of the times she is writing about.  Her characters come alive as real people and not just some dusty person from past times.

Henry VIII is coming towards the end of his reign and becoming more and more tyrannical.  In 1539 he takes Anne of Cleves as his wife and then his eye is taken by one of her maids, 15 year old Katherine Howard.  He annuls his marriage to Anne of Cleves. Jane Boleyn, lady-in-waiting to first Anne of Cleves and then Katherine Howard is young and impressionable.

We hear the stories of these three women from their own perspectives of their lives trying to please Henry.

This is a brilliant book, well written and well told, fantastic.

Don’t let the length of the book put you off – it really keeps you gripped and 500+ pages will just disappear very quickly as you are quickly immersed in to  life at the Tudor court. 



Wednesday, 15 February 2017

LOST LOVE - WEP FEB 2017


This month Write Edit Publish (WEP) challenge is: Back of the Drawer

It's up to you! Create an artistic interpretation: a poem, a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less, a non-fiction piece detailing your personal experience or someone else's experience, write a script, draw your dreams, or post a photograph or a photo essay. The genre is up to you. The artistic choice is yours. A scandal, a lost love found, a deed, a lottery ticket or the last will and testament naming you the sole beneficiary! Go for it!

What will you find at the BACK OF THE DRAWER?




Here is my entry:

LOST LOVE

Frank rushed into the house. 

‘Maggie, look what I found wedged at the back of one of the drawers.’ 

He held out a bundle of envelopes, tied up with string.

We sat at the kitchen table.  I read each letter, tears filling my eyes.


The family heirloom furniture, ready to be refurbished or upcycled, yielded up the story of Sarah and Walter, not a family myth any longer. 


Walter Kelly – photo credit Sally Stackhouse 


My darling Walter,

I dreamt of you last night.  Your arms were wrapped around me as we snuggled up in bed, your whiskers gently scraped against my cheek.  I heard your snores as you slept peacefully.

I reached out for you but I was alone. 

I reached out in my mind. 

I reached out my love. 

I felt my fingertips tingle. 

I know you felt me. 

I count the days until you are home.

Your loving wife,

Sarah. xxx


My darling Sarah,

My love, my heart.

I only have a few moments.  

I wish I had longer.  

I will not have you crying tears for me.  

I hold you tightly in my heart every moment of the day and night.

Walter xxx




My dearest Walter,

Every night I hold back my tears.  

Every night I peek out of the blackout curtains, one tiny corner, for one tiny, precious moment and send my love soaring across the sky to wherever you are.

Your ever loving wife,

Sarah xxx




My Darling Sarah,

Tonight we had time for a hot cooked meal. I feel a bit more human now.  The rumour is we have tonight to recuperate before we start marching again.

Today was a tough day. My Lieutenant asked me to go through Charlie’s things ready for him to send on.  I steel myself as I do this last thing for him.   We thought he was going to make it but God obviously had other plans for this young boy.  I remember he told me his dad was so proud when he joined up but his mum was very cross.  Now she has to accept he is gone forever. 

Sarah, you must move to the country.  The coast is not safe anymore.  

Stay safe so I can come home to you.

Love you forever and ever.

Walter Xxx




My darling husband,

We are to be relocated to Wells in Somerset.  It seems even further away from you, although I know you are thousands of miles away but if I think it is only a piece of sea separating us then I can cope a bit more.

We are only allowed one suitcase. We don't know how long we will be gone for.  It is a farm and I will work in the fields.  I am not afraid of hard work.  I am only afraid of the evil in the world. 

I am so proud of you my darling husband and all the men who risk their lives so that we can live freely but sometimes I do wonder if the price is too high.

Do you think I could write to Charlie’s mum?  Are you allowed to give me her address?

Waiting forever for you to return.

Love you more and more each day.

Sarah xxx



Dear Nora,

My deepest sympathies go out to you at this time.  My husband, Walter, served with your Charlie.  I hope you don’t mind me writing to you.  I met your lovely lad last summer. He didn’t have enough time to get to Wales to see you and his dad so he came home with Walter on a 24-hour leave.

We chatted and drank some tea.  He talked about you, he showed me your picture, you, his dad and two little brothers.  He kept the picture in a pocket next to his heart.   He gave me a lovely cuddle as he left and I felt all the love he had for his family which I now pass on to you.

I am working on a farm in Somerset so I think of you working on your farm, doing the same chores as I am, waking up early and retiring early, physically worn out. 
Let’s hope this horrible war is over soon, they say it will be over by Christmas.

My best wishes to you and your family.

Mrs. Sarah Kelly.

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your kind words.

I cry every night for my boy.

Best wishes

Mrs. Nora Jones.


********

We regret to inform you
Sergeant Walter Kelly severely wounded.
Receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital.

*******

Dear Walter,

I will catch the train tomorrow. 

I will be at the hospital Wednesday. 

I will look after you always.

Love

Sarah.




Dear Sarah,

Do not come.

W.



Dear Walter,

I came all this way to see you.  Why won't you see me? 

I love you with all my heart. 

I have found some lodgings two streets away. 

I will come to the hospital every day until you see me.

Always yours,

Sarah.





Oh my darling Sarah,

I am not the man I was when you saw me last. 

I can't be the man you married. 

I won't make you look after an invalid for the rest of our life.

I do love you. 

With all my heart.

Walter.



Darling, darling Walter,

I leave this letter by your bedside.
 
I know you can't see it.

I know you can’t pick it up.

I leave it with all my love.

I leave it with you for all eternity.

As a soldier you did your duty.

As a man you honoured your country

As my husband you had to go.

As your wife I understand.

As your wife I wanted you to stay.

My husband

My lover

My friend

My heart breaks

My soul weeps

My mind shrieks

I scream in the night

I scream in the daylight

Why do humans fight?

Who was right?

 Sarah, yours for always and forever.


Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse


Walter and Sarah’s love waited a long time to be found, now their love story could be told.